By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
Bishop Mark Hagemoen recently announced a name change for the long-standing diocesan Lay Formation program. It will now be knows as the Adult Faith Enrichment Program.
In a letter to the diocese Aug. 13, the bishop explained that the change is the result of a discernment over the past year with many clergy and lay faithful. Bishop Hagemoen said that the change of name for the program was deemed to be “the best way to continue to build on its important legacy and service in our diocese.”
Changing the program name to Adult Faith Enrichment corresponds with the upcoming release of a Diocesan Pastoral Plan in September, said Bishop Hagemoen. “We as a diocese will be addressing the importance of evangelization and catechesis in the life of the parishes and diocesan services.”
A review of the program curriculum has also been underway, he added, saying this “will help elucidate and guide the various topics and issues throughout the program, and achieve key learning outcomes.”
In his letter to pastors, parishes and the faithful across the diocese, the bishop also thanked the many coordinators, teachers, facilitators and participants in the Lay Formation program over the past 32 years. “I look forward to building on such a legacy, as we continue to hear the Holy Spirit’s call to the People of God of this particular church to continue to proclaim the Good News of Christ and the Kingdom of God which our world so greatly needs to hear and see today.”
The Lay Formation program was originally launched in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon in the fall of 1987 under the leadership of the late Bishop James Mahoney, as a response to Saint Pope John Paul’s request that the formation of lay people should be among the priorities of every diocese.
The program’s focus is threefold: to provide adult Catholics with an opportunity to deepen their learning and understanding of the faith through presentations about scripture, theology, sacraments, etc.; to provide opportunities to deepen a relationship with God through prayer; and to experience Christian community.
Since the program started, it has evolved and changed in a number of ways (see: Lay Formation History), including the introduction of an Indigenous Catholic formation stream (now known as Indigenous Faith Enrichment), as well as an Eparchial Ukrainian Catholic stream (now known as the two-year Eparchial Byzantine Faith Enrichment Program). Format and schedule have also changed over the years — for instance, at one time the Year 1 and Year 2 groups of the two-year program were running concurrently, but now there is only one group at a time running for each of the three streams.
In the upcoming year, the schedule for the program will also change slightly, say diocesan Adult Faith Enrichment coordinators Jennifer and Blair Carruthers. The program will now run one weekend a month from September to May, rather than until June. This year, the weekend schedule will see diocesan participants attending from Friday night to Sunday afternoon each month (in the last session of the program, diocesan participants did not attend on Sundays.)
Applications are now being accepted for the Adult Faith Enrichment two-year program that runs one weekend a month from September to May at Queen’s House in Saskatoon. “This is a time of learning, a time for friendship, a time of discernment and a time of growing ever closer to Jesus Christ,” says co-ordinator Blair Carruthers.
For more information or to apply for September 2019, please contact the diocesan coordinators of the Adult Faith Enrichment Program: Jennifer and Blair Carruthers, phone: (306) 659-5846 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org